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Two of the most general environmental laws are: Presidential Decree No.1151 known as The Philippine Environmental Policy and Presidential Decree 1152 known as The Philippine Environmental Code. Both laws were made during the reign of the late president, Ferdinand Marcos. The Presidential Decree No. 1151 aims to preserve natural sceneries and natural resources without restricting technological and industrial growth of the Philippines. It stated in section one of this given Presidential Decree that the goal of this Policy is to create a community that can develop, and enhance its economy without jeopardizing or sacrificing stability of the natural environment. It is also stated in section two under the same Presidential Decree that the government and other private organization should encourage and promote preservation of historic and cultural aspects of the Filipino heritage. The healths of individuals living within the area of Philippines are also being considered in this Presidential Decree. It is the right of everyone to have a healthy environment; therefore, everyone is also responsible in preserving the country’s environment.
In the Presidential Decree No. 1152 or known as The Philippine Environment Code are several sections that set standards, measures and proper management of the country’s natural resources, and other environmental aspects. Under Air Quality Management, Title one of this Presidential Decree are thirteen sections that focuses generally on air quality. Smoke emission can be arguably considered as the number one cause of air pollution and in section four under Air Quality Management, it is stated that there should be a national emission standards that shall be met by every industry and by every single person residing within the country. Noise pollution is also categorized to air pollution because sound waves travels through air; and still under Air Quality Management of the Philippine Environmental, sections four and five tackles the Community Noise Standards and Standards for Noise-Producing Equipment respectively. Both sections are requiring standards to minimize noise levels. There are several agencies responsible in enforcing these standards, and these are the National Pollution Control Commission, Land Transportation Commission and other government and non-government agencies concerned. Under this Presidential Decree is Title two which is the Water Quality Management, are the classification of Philippine Waters, where basic information about a certain body of water are taken into consideration for it to be classified; establishment of water quality standards, where the National Pollution Control Commission prescribes guidelines given by the National Environment Protection Council; upgrading of water quality, Clean up operations, and water quality monitoring and surveillance, where government agencies responsible shall monitor water quality in the country. Title three of this decree is the Land Use, the purpose of this title is encouraging conservation of land resources and to prevent imbalance in the environment. In section twenty three of this Presidential Decree, the national land use scheme includes: scientific land inventory and classification, determination of land uses, adaptability of land, method of identification of areas and exercising control by government agencies over use of land, system of controls and regulations regarding the possible sources of pollution and a periodic revisions and updating of national land use scheme.
As the demand for the quantity of a product or service gets higher in every industry, the demand for natural resources also goes up. The required raw materials by indutries are already causing damage to natural areas, and make the scarcity level for natural resources extremely high. The Natural Resources Management and Conservation under Presidential Decree 1152, aims to give the basic management and conservation of the Philippines’ natural resources. It is in this chapter that the government shall implement a system of preservation and conservation of wildlife resources and aquatic resources within the country’s area; where participation and contribution of citizens are highly encouraged. In addition, the conservation of forest resources is integrated to the system of exploitation, where the system includes regulating the selling of threatened forest resources. It is in this chapter that conservation of other natural resources like, energy sources, surface ground waters, and mineral resources.
It is in the same Presidential Decree where proper waste management is discussed. It is the Title Five or Waste management, and it aims to promote recovery, recycling and re-use of wastes to maintain the stability of the environment. In Section forty three of this Presidential Decree, waste management programs are discussed, these programs implies to all provinces, cities and municipalities. It is the responsibility of the Department of Local Government and Community Development to formulate and set guidelines for the proper waste management in their respective areas. All programs will include: an orderly system, provision that the program will not be a source of pollution of any kind and a provision for revisions to achieve effectively. Proper disposal area of these wastes is also tackled in the title, where the location shall follow the existing zoning land use standards and pollution control regulations.
The significance of acquiring knowledge regarding the environmental laws of the Philippines prior to entering the industry is under rated by most of the students. As future members of the hospitality and tourism industry, it is very essential to learn and be equipped with the knowledge of these environmental laws, because natural resources are essential to any industry. Therefore, learning how to preserve and retain these natural resources is crucial to us students. The hospitality and tourism management students are highly affected by these laws to be aware of current environmental concerns, and be knowledgeable on the different rules and regulations that can be applied in the future whether as employees or employers. These laws are important as we plan to create and form our own businesses especially to our industry which greatly relies on the resources available in nature. For Travel and Tourism Management students, these laws are their guide lines in conducting tourism destination plan development, wherein sites and destinations are analyzed and knowing the prohibitions and regulations for the certain area is very imperative. For Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Managements students, the importance of these laws is as important as it is to the Travel and Tourism Management students. These laws provide regulations as to how hotels, restaurant and other similar establishments could promote and apply rightful acts in nurturing the Philippinesâ€™ natural resources. These laws also sets the standard on how the establishment operations would work without harming and creating imbalance in the environment, but rather retaining its value and even enhancing it.
The hospitality and tourism nowadays may be referred as one industry and is currently considered as the world’s fastest growing industry. It is a collection of separate industries that can stand on their own but complements each other. It is subdivided into several industries like lodging, transportation, food, recreations and other industries concerned. Like any other industry in this country of Philippines, the hospitality and tourism industry has its fair share of responsibility in protecting and preserving the country’s natural resources; and taking part in the improvement of current environmental concerns while sustaining economic growth.
The people in the industry can start their roles in the improvement of the country’s environmental issues by reading and being knowledgeable and educated about the current environmental laws of the Philippines. Transportation, one of the sub-industries under hospitality and tourism, can help in the issue of air pollution through being responsible with the smoke they emit during the business operations. Operators and drivers of public vehicles, and travel agency owned vehicles like tour buses and vans should always check and maintain proper conditioning of their vehicles to avoid excessive emission of smoke or smoke belching. They can also adapt to the current trend of using low fuel consuming vehicles, electric powered vehicles that don’t emit smoke and other existing technologies that are dedicated to decrease or extinguish smoke emissions of vehicles. Airlines can also help the fight against air pollution through meeting the standards of the National Pollution Control Commission and Civil Aeronautics Administration regarding the harmful effects of aircraft emissions, sonic booms and noise pollution to the environment.
Hoteliers, restaurant owners and other proprietors planning to build and start a business should comply with the rules and regulations of the Department of Environment, and Natural Resources if any tree will be cut upon the construction of the establishment. They should be responsible in planting more trees that would act as replacements for the trees that would be cut. Restaurants or any establishment that offers food should also be aware of what they serve to their guests. By not offering dishes or goods made of threatened or endangered species, they are already helping in protecting the wild life. Through offering and patronizing organic ingredients, food establishments can already protect the lands or soil of an area. This can eventually have an impact or can lessen the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides that can greatly affect the fertility and health of the soil.
Proper waste management should also be exercised by hospitality and tourism establishments. Through segregation of wastes or garbage can hugely and positively affect problem in wastes. Food establishments can also decrease the usage of disposable utensils, plates and replace those with reusable things necessary to the business operations. Recycling of garbages is also a good way of waste management. Establishments may use their garbages to create something useful to their operations. Patronizing products that have chemically altered compositions that makes them degradable like the technology used on plastic bags and other plastic products that causes these products decompose faster compared to the average decomposition time of ordinary plastic products.
One of the trends nowadays in the tourism scene is the eco-tourism, this focuses on promoting ecological preservation while enjoying the beauty of nature. The emerging market of tourists who patronizes eco-tourism means the industry is using its influence and marketing strategy to promote tourism and preservation of natural resources at the same time. Through eco-tourism, natural resources are being preserved as well with the income generated by this trend.
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